In today’s world, both our life and work environments require more thinking skills than actual bookish or content knowledge. The unrelentingly competitive environment has now become even more competitive since today’s jobs require people to have a much higher level of adaptibility and flexibility. Life skills such as initiative, self-direction, adaptability, flexibility, social and cross-cultural skills are very important in today’s environment.
Ask any employer today on what are the ideal qualities they’re looking for in an employee and they would say – adaptibility, versatility, the ability to be a self-starter; self-learners. The ability to interact effectively with others is an important skill which will help you in life.
Here are some life skills that you need to develop in order to be able to add value, stand out and be different in today’s competitive world. Do you have any of these in your life skills tool box? If not, then figure and learn how to develop the one’s you need to be successful in your life and career.
FLEXIBILITY AND ADAPTABILITY
- The ability to adapt to change – this will help you in adapting to varied roles, jobs responsibilities, schedules and context.
- Being flexible – allows you to work towards solutions in multi cultural environments.
- Work effectively in a climate of ambiguity and changing priorities
- Deal positively with praise, setbacks and criticism
Try working as in intern in a company or even interning properly in your dad’s / family business for a month or two and getting involved in every possible activity related to the business or the company you’re interning for. No job is too small for you – learning about the dignity of labour is important to teach you flexibilty, humility and adapting to a different environment.
INITIATIVE AND SELF-DIRECTION
- The ability to work outside a defined profile or role.
- Being a self starter
- Effective manage of own goals and time
- The ability to set goals with tangible and intangible success criteria
- The ability to balance tactical (short-term) and strategic (long-term) goals
- The ability to work independently – involves being able to define, monitor, prioritize and complete tasks without direct oversight
- Be self-directed learners
- Go beyond your basic skills and/or curriculum to explore and expand your learning in order to build and improve or add to current skill sets.
- Demonstrate initiative to advance skill levels towards a professional level
- Demonstrate commitment to learning as a lifelong process
- Reflect critically on past experiences in order to inform future progress
If you’re interning or working for an organisation, take the initiative to learn more about the company you’re working for; even if its post working hours. Read up on the industry, read up on your competitors, clients and see what it is that can be done differently or what other companies are doing better than you and why! It’s always good to take the initiative to learn, be a self starter and show what you’re made off.
SOCIAL AND CROSS-CULTURAL SKILLS
- Interact effectively with others
- Know when it is appropriate to listen and when to speak
- Conduct themselves in a respectable, professional manner
- Work effectively in diverse teams
- Respect cultural differences and work effectively with people from a range of social and cultural backgrounds
- Respond open-mindedly to different ideas and values
- Leverage social and cultural differences to create new ideas and increase both innovation and quality of work
This is an important skill in order to be able to interact with people across cultures, functions, verticals. It’s important that you’re polite to everyone. Social networking also helps in building and developing your contacts for the future.
PRODUCTIVITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY
- Manage projects
- Set and meet goals, even in the face of obstacles and competing pressure
- Prioritize, plan and manage work to achieve the intended result
- Produce results
- Demonstrate additional attributes associated with producing high quality products including the abilities to:
- Work positively and ethically
- Manage time and projects effectively
- Participate actively, as well as be reliable and punctual
– Present oneself professionally and with proper etiquette
– Collaborate and cooperate effectively with teams
– Respect and appreciate team diversity
– Be accountable for results
LEADERSHIP AND RESPONSIBILITY
- Guide and Lead Others
- Use interpersonal and problem-solving skills to influence and guide others toward a goal
- Leverage strengths of others to accomplish a common goal
- Inspire others to reach their very best via example and selflessnes
- Demonstrate integrity and ethical behavior in using influence and power
- Be responsible to others
- Act responsibly with the interests of the larger community in mind